Monumento al Campesino
If you spend time on Lanzarote, the towering 15 meter Monumento al Campesino will become a familiar sight and landmark on your travels. The white monument itself, is actually called Monumento a la Fecundidad (Fertility Monument) and is a striking sight against the beautiful blue skies of Lanzarote. It was designed by the influential Cesar Manrique in 1968 and the site where it stands marks the geographic centre of the Island. For us it also marks the start of the wine region.
The Monumento, which is an abstract piece of art, represents the peasant farmer working the land with his beast of burden, the camel. On first appearance it can be difficult to make out, but at certain angles and with a bit of imagination the camel’s head, hump and tail can be seen.
Cesar Manrique wanted to honour the peasant farmers who toiled the land and fought adversity for centuries in order for life to exist on the Island. Some of the obstacles for the farmers include a significant lack of rainfall, deep volcanic ash and lava flows as well as high winds.
Manrique designed the structure out of old boat water tanks from around the Island and the monument has now become an iconic symbol of Lanzarote. As usual, the forward thinking Manrique was ahead of the curve in creating sustainable art, which has become the norm now, nearly 50 years later.
Beside the monument is the Museo al Campesino. This consists of a restaurant, offering a variety of traditional Canarian dishes and a culture centre where handcraft workshops and educational activities celebrating local culture take place.
So next time you drive past this iconic structure or are drinking a refreshing glass of Malvasia, take a little bit of time to think of the men and women who worked the fields and brought this difficult land to life.
To taste and learn more about the wine culture here in Lanzarote, why not join us on one of our tours. Bookings can be made at Wine Tours Lanzarote
Some great old footage from CACT Lanzarote of Monumento al Campesino.
Video courtesy of CACT Lanzarote.